Chicago school board, teachers reject report

A fact finder’s recommendation to give Chicago teachers a double-digit raise was rejected Wednesday by both the city’s teachers union and the governing board of the Chicago public school system, paving the way for a teacher strike, the Associated Press reports. The 6-0 vote by the school board came about an hour after the union vote. The union cited classroom quality issues in its vote, while school board officials cited the district’s financial difficulties.

“Quite simply, the board does not have the resources to accept the fact finder’s recommendation,” Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale said.

But he was optimistic that both sides could reach a deal. Vitale noted that the district and the union have used collective bargaining for 25 years without a strike, and said “it is a record I believe we both want to extend.”…Read More

Chicago Public Schools investigated: Misspending, use of clout discovered

An investigation has led to the discovery of lavish spending by two former presidents of the Chicago Board of Education, all while schools faced a serious budget crisis, the Huffington Post reports. Chicago Public Schools Inspector General James M. Sullivan released a scathing report Monday, questioning more than $800,000 in spending by former school board presidents Rufus Williams and Michael Scott, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Scott committed suicide in November 2009. According to the report, $12,624 of taxpayer money was spent on holiday parties at a president’s home and thousands more on Soldier Field skybox suites, 50-plate catered lunches and $3,000 to have the board’s offices “swept for electronic eavesdropping devices,” WBEZ reports…

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